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Road Trips in the Model 3


New Member
Supporting Member
Apr 17, 2016
Estacada OR
We took delivery of our Model 3 in Portland OR on 4/3. We were pleased with the car, fit and finish, and function from the outset.
I had installed a 220V charger in our garage, and it will charge the car fully in about 7 hours on that. About a week later, we drove the 290 miles up to Bellingham WA, using the Superchargers in Centralia and Burlington to top up.
At our second home in Bellingham, I found that a 110V heavy duty extension cord will charge the car to about 80 miles. This is plenty for our use locally in Bellingham per day.
On 4/23, we set out for Austin TX on a 2200 mile car camping road trip. We found the navigation feature to be great at finding up Superchargers along the way. We passed through Ellensburg, Boise, Ogden, Green River, Santa Fe, Carlsbad, and Midland TX. We used many Superchargers during the day, and charged at 220V outlets in RV parks three nights when we tent camped.
The navigation feature routes you the most direct way, so you see some back roads, rather than the Interstate, which pleases us. I found the cruise control to be especially useful in drafting trucks to conserve charge. We tried to maintain a max of 70 mph where higher speeds were permitted
to conserve charge.
Using these techniques, I found the our useable range was 225 to 250 miles. We tried to leave a margin of 40 miles on either end for peace of mind.
I am learning the Autopilot features. It is great on straight 4-lane highways. It does not handle curves or ambiguous lane markings well. I am OK with that.
Bottom line: This is great car! I am looking forward to seeing more of them on the road. (The only Model 3’s we have seen were at the dealership in Austin.)
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